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Court affirms death penalty for Damas

By Staff | Jan 2, 2019

The Florida Supreme Court has affirmed the death penalty imposed on a Collier County man who slaughtered his wife and five children nearly a decade ago by slitting their throats.

The court has affirmed the six death sentences imposed upon Mesac Damas for the murder of his family in 2009.

Damas, 42, was sentenced to death in 2017 for the murders. The Supreme Court opinion was issued on Dec. 28, 2018.

Damas was found guilty of killing his wife Guerline Dieu, 32, and his children: Meshach, 9, Maven, 6, Marven, 5, Megan, 3, and Morgan, 19 months, in their Naples home.

Their bodies were found by officers conducting a wellness check in September of 2009 after Guerline’s family reported they had not heard from her.

Mesac Damas fled to Port au Prince, Haiti but was quickly returned to the United States. He was indicted by a Collier County Grand Jury on Oct. 4, 2009 for six counts of first degree premeditated murder.

“The State Attorney’s Office Death Penalty Review Committee then reviewed the case and recommended the death penalty which then-State Attorney Steve Russell approved,” a release from the State Attorney’s Office issued Wednesday states.

Damas waived his right to a jury trial in September of 2017 and pleaded guilty to all charges.

“After a two-day Sentencing Hearing during which the State presented evidence of aggravation in support of the death sentence for each count of the indictment, Judge Christine H. Greider sentenced Damas to death on each count of the indictment. Due to the heinous nature of the crimes, the State Attorney’s Office, with the support of the Dieu family, never wavered from seeking death sentences,” the release states.

“Florida law requires a direct appeal to the Florida Supreme Court following the imposition of any death sentence. On his appeal, Damas alleged a number of errors all of which were found to be without merit by the Supreme Court. All seven members of the Court affirmed the sentences as part of a 38-page opinion.”

Acting State Attorney Amira D. Fox, Deputy Chief Assistant State Attorney Richard J. Montecalvo, and Assistant State Attorney Dave Scuderi prosecuted the case.

Source: State Attorney’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit